In class today, I brought up a picture of Robert Frost, and one of my students said, “He looks old.” I totally overreacted when I responded to her, but this is a continuing trend that seriously bothers me.
Seriously, why does a person’s looks matter so much? I can understand if they’re a model or an actor to a certain extent, but when we’re discussing authors, architects, or politicians, who gives a shit about looks? I remember when so many people criticized Hillary’s pantsuits, and I still don’t care about them. All that should matter is if someone can do the job. She could do the job, and therefore I voted for her.
However, I see this everywhere. There’s a woman that I work with that I have a number of issues with. I’ve heard several of my friends make fun of this woman’s protruding nose and exaggerated cheek bones, but this only distracts from the real problem. She’s terrible at her job. You see this with politicians all the time, too. There’s a reason Paul Ryan is Speaker of the House. It sure hasn’t resulted from strength of will. It’s his dreamy blue eyes and killer widow’s peak that keeps him in office.
I won’t belabor this point, but you might want to reconsider next time you belittle someone based on their looks. For the most part, there isn’t much most of us can do to rectify that, and there’s no reason why we should. Personally, I like to wear loose-fitting clothes and sneakers despite the fact that this probably isn’t the most flattering of fashion choices. So what? I don’t see how my clothes grant anyone the right to judge me. If you don’t like me, let it because you can’t stand my personality. Leave my looks out of the equation.
This isn’t to say that I haven’t made fun of other people based on their physical appearance. I don’t call Trump President Cheeto because he’s addicted to the spicy variety of cheetos. Such name-calling is probably beneath me. Trump certainly gives me plenty of other material to mock besides his skin color. In this instance, I doubt I’ll ever stop calling him that, though. It just suits him so well.